Are you still using HTTP? More penalties may be in store

This nonsecure label indicated that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection. That being noted, HTTPS, the secure version of HTTP,

Are you still using HTTP? More penalties may be in store

This nonsecure label indicated that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection. That being noted, HTTPS, the secure version of HTTP, does offer much better protection against a user on the same network viewing or modifying traffic. The term for this is known as a “man-in-the-middle attack”.

Google (Chrome) has taken strict measures against sites without HTTPS

In 2017, Google started to label all HTTP pages “nonsecure”. This is one way in which Google has succeeded in making the web much more secure, thus making HTTPS mandatory. Google will also implement a “not secure” label on any site that uses HTTP, (not just those handling sensitive data).

Google plans to make red and display the same exclamation mark Chrome currently uses to indicate a critical error with the way a site is displayed.

Google has mentioned the exact date when they plan to implement this change. They have given a clear warning to websites owners to start moving toward HTTPS.

Another reason Google is pushing toward HTTPS is to encourage developers to adopt progressive web apps through JavaScript ‘service workers’. (These sit between the browser and network to enable offline and background syncing features and require HTTPS to be enabled which is crucial).

Other Benefit of HTTPS

SSL keep sensitive data sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended receiver can understand it. Since the data you send on the Internet is transferred from computer to computer to get to the target server, any computer within the network can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.

SSL gives visual signs (such as lock icon or a green bar) to let the visitors know that connection is secured.

Google assures the users that an SSL will help to increase the ranking position in search as compared to normal sites.

This increases user loyalty and provides comfort in sharing personal information. When the user knows that their information is protected, they are more likely to continue using the website.

Limitations of SSL

There is a higher cost to set up a SSL within the trusted infrastructure in order to validate your identity.

Performance is another factor to take in account with SSL since the data that you send has to be encrypted by the server. This often takes up more server resources than unencrypted information. Do keep in mind, however, the performance difference would only be notable for websites with very large numbers of visitors and can be minimized with special hardware.

So overall, the benefits far outweigh the limitations and are crucial for keeping your website and all data secure in the long term.

7 must elements for your website

Your website’s homepage is the most important first impression you can make. Having a strong first impression acts as a conduit to bring

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Your website’s homepage is the most important first impression you can make. Having a strong first impression acts as a conduit to bring the viewer deeper into your content.It is essential that your homepage and all website pages be representative of your brand. The homepage should highlight your business image and what you have to offer. That is smart branding!The experience a visitor should have when interacting with your website ought to be impressive in order to create interest by conveying an understanding of what you and your product/services have to offer.

That is the #1 objective of a strong homepage and cohesive website. Check out your bounce rate (the number of people that leave your homepage from that same page. If your website and homepage is successfully designed, the bounce rate can be decreased.That being said- the best jumping point is to start at the beginning: the

1. Easy Navigation

  • There needs to be an intuitive, fluid, ease of navigating through the homepage. Links that lead them to essential information should be clear and user-friendly.
  • The navigation menu should be effortless and easy to use via a simple layout and drop-down menus
  • Keep your content organized and not too heavy
  • Every aspect of your website needs to be mobile friendly, cross browser tested and responsive mobile friendly.

2. A Catchy Headline

  • Create a headline that captures the visitors’ attention the also shows who you are and that you have to offer; this will help create converting leads
  • Keep any media (content/videos/images) clear and concise and make sure they don’t distract the visitor from your message. First impressions count; make it a good one
  • Clearly and simply emphasize your headline since it should be the most prominent thing on your homepage promoting what your business does

Answer the WWWH questions:

  • What do we do?
  • Why it’s wise to work with us?
  • Who do we do it for (ie your demographic)?
  • How do we do it at an expertise level?

3. Benefits

The homepage should address what areas we can help with your business to alleviate slow business flow. We ask specific questions and the answers you provide help us to tackle said problems and offer a solution.

  • We will advise you on how to highlight your business’s assets (as well as product features) by using a great homepage and website so your potential clients can feel confident in going with you.

4. A Call to Action

The goal is to convert an interested visitor into a new client that takes action to get more information or get in touch with your business
That being said, your homepage is where you catch a potential client by leading visitors to take action. As mentioned before, these points are essential:

  • Headline and description that showcase “Why us?”
  • A “call to action” (CTA) button or form that is clear and specific
  • A reminder that isn’t too overbearing or aggressive, but incentivizes them with details of what they have to gain by completing an action, i.e. “Subscribe to Our Newsletter”, or Get a Free Trial”) using catchy design that stands out from the rest of the website

5. Contact Information

The visitors should effortlessly be able to get in touch, input their contact information and access your company’s contact information on your Homepage. The visitor should not have to click to many different internal pages, but rather see the information quite readily available. Transparency, trustworthiness, availability and respect for an interested visitor’s time really does make an impact and a great first impression!

6. Copy

The website does need to have written content, but not too much. With the short attention span we have this day in age, it is clear that no one wants to read though excessive paragraphs and dense written content. It couldn’t be more important not to make this mistake on your Homepage!
Every word and phrase should be clean, have a specific purpose and convey your message to your potential lead. Any blog or content needs to reflect your voice, your company’s mission and be delivered in a unique tone and style that would be appealing to your best customers.

7. Proof

Testimonials are very important for inbound marketing, but by utilizing the power of social feeds and social media you can give your visitors a sense of the community you have.
This also lends more credibility to your homepage, which can help a lead feel more comfortable, and that they came to the right business who can serve all their needs.

Everything you’ve read may be an overwhelming number of factors to keep in mind. Remember, the best rule of thumb is: keep it simple and clear. All of the elements should flow and compliment each other seamlessly and appear effortless. When executed properly with all of these factors accounted for, it will ensure for a pleasing, easy user experience.

Project Specification or Business Requirement Document

Website and application design and development requires detailed outlines of what the clients need for their project. Detailed project specifications

The Importance of Writing a Project Specification or Business Requirement Document

Website and application design and development requires detailed outlines of what the clients need for their project. Detailed project specifications are essential in order to start working on project(s) so we can adhere to the proposed timeline and deliver what we commit to delivering.

Why do clear project specifications mean the ultimate successful and timely completion of projects?

General info

To collect the overall information about the client, we would request the following:

  • Company name
  • Nature of the business
  • Size
  • Competitors

It is important and helpful in understanding the targeted demographic and the customers that the website will appeal to. It is also very helpful if the client can provide some examples of their competitors’ websites for us to brainstorm on how to approach the project and help them have a competitive edge in the industry. If we can gather this essential information, we can give the most accurate quotation and timeline of completion.

Designing or Redesigning

Does the project involve designing a new site or will we (the developer) have to work on an existing site?
If you have a website but you want to create a new site, please share the link of the existing site with the developers and/or the links of your competitor’s sites so we can get a better feel of your desired website. Remember: the more detailed and thorough you provide your details, the easier it is for the developers to improve the design and optimize your website.

Expectations

Every website is unique and has different goals and objectives. The most thorough understanding we can get of your expectations, the better. The clearer you can outline your expectations, the easier it is to deliver exactly what you want.
Some expectations may include:

  • Displaying products or services
  • E-commerce functionality/shopping cart
  • Increasing visitors to your website
  • Portfolio or a presentation

Key points and the outlined goal of your website helps us define the aspects of your website we should focus on.

Website type

Once we have all of the details fleshed out, we can then determine what type of website platform we would recommend.
Some key points to note include the following facets of a website:

  • Ecommerce
  • Corporate presentation
  • Blog
  • Portfolio
  • Social network
  • Website with specific features and functionality

Once we know these aspects, we can then recommend a CMS (content management system) and either start making the site from scratch or via the use of a template.

Structure

How many pages will the site need? Will you require a multilingual option? The project specification document should address all of these factors and more.

For example, an e-commerce site could have hundreds of pages but a corporate site such as a law firm would have only a couple of pages. Adding more pages is of course time consuming, but keep in mind that designing a “simple” four/five-page website will still be time consuming.

Static or Dynamic

In order for us to analyze the website’s needs and give a realistic quote, we’d request the following key questions answered:

Q: Do you want to be able to change the content of your site?
Can you provide all of the content (ie: written, photos, videos, etc)
For instance, if you want to use the same content for a long time, then you need a static site. Having answered that question, we would be able to determine which CMS to use. For clients that want to change their website content frequently, we would opt for a Dynamic CMS so the site content is easily changeable.

Functionality

We emphasize best practices to make the website functional.

Examples of website functionality:

  • Visitor registration with confirmation emails sent to the registered members
  • Different categories/sub-categories which open in a drop down menu
  • Filters used to narrow down search options
  • Responsive to various platforms/devices/browsers

*For responsiveness, we would start working on a responsive design from scratch. Again, the more detailed and elaborate you can be to explain your needs to the designer, the better!

Budget

If you have a budget in mind, please be clear about that upfront, so we can try to accommodate it or at the least, manage exceptions. Ultimately, we want to give you the best price quote which accomplishes all of your needs. (For example, an e-commerce site can be designed on Magento and also on Shopify. Shopify will be less expensive than Magento).

Deadline

Every project has a deadline . Please be very clear about what your desired deadline is and we will do our very best to accommodate it and also let you know if it is realistic. A stringent, inflexible timeline, for example will mean the programmers and designer have to potentially set aside other projects and work on your site exclusively. Ultimately, that type of resource allocation and focus for quicker service means your cost will be higher. This is why providing the information about when your deadline is will help us manage scheduling our team.

Additional information

As a client and owner of a website, it is helpful if you can describe what your site is about, what you want to accomplish with the site and how you envision your website.

Make sure in the requirement document that everything is clear, no typos, no ambiguities.
If your requirements are as organized as possible, it will act as a comprehensive project guide for the designer and programmer who will be focusing on your website.

The benefits you will have with the specification document are:

  • Time saving
    The project specification report will save time and ultimately your money! We work according to the report and avoid having to constantly call/email you for tedious questions (ie: color scheme, font type, written content, images etc). If you provide these type of points, we can save time and complete the project on time.
  • Cost saving
    The project specification is essential for us to come up with a customized service plan. We can cut cost wherever possible and make the project more affordable for you.
  • Better design
    If we understand your specific needs, we can deliver exactly what you desire in a timely affordable fashion as it eliminates errors that may be noticed at the testing stage.
  • Satisfaction
    Our goal is for you to get the site you’re dreaming of and have a smile ob your face! We aim to foster a long term relationship where you feel confident in reaching out to us for your present needs and any likely needs in the future.

How to secure your WordPress site from Hackers and Malware.

As the most preferred and popular content management system online, WordPress websites are a lucrative target for hackers, spammers,

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As the most preferred and popular content management system online, WordPress websites are a lucrative target for hackers, spammers, and other malicious parties. Following are the 10 measures to secure your WordPress site from Viruses & Malware

Keep WordPress Up to Date

  • WordPress is the most successful content management platform worldwide and It’s good practice to keep your themes, plugins & WordPress version updated to the latest versions.
  • Updates typically happen when developers release security patches or add extra functionality.
  • The latest of WordPress is most likely more secure than the last one and has fewer vulnerabilities.
  • When the latest version of WordPress is available you will receive an update message on your WordPress Admin Screens.

Rename and secure your login screen

  • It very much advised to change the WordPress login URL to restrict the hacker for easy access to your site.
  • Use CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA in addition to username and password on your login screen.
  • Security question on the login screen is also a good option for preventing unauthorized access.
  • SSL login is comparatively simple but very effective for securing your entire website, it assures your users have secure login pages. You must buy SSL authentication.
  • It is important that you automatically Logout idle users
  • If possible use Two-factor authentication (2FA) it enhance security when logging in by requiring a unique code
  • Password protect your login screen by providing another layer of security as no amount of security is ever enough it always good to have many layers.

Chose secure Username and Password. Remove unrecognised accounts.

  • Don’t use common or obvious names for admin as it is easy to guess and give comfortable access to the hacker.
  • Pick an appropriate admin username when you’re setting WordPress
  • Choose a cryptic password comprised of letters, numbers and characters
    Also, remember not to use the same password for the longer period. Change your password at least a few times a year.
  • Make sure you recognise all admin accounts. If you don’t recognise an account, find out who it belongs to. If you have an unauthorised admin account you should delete it.

Assure that your site is backed up Regularly

  • Backups are the first step in securing your website, a backup is just a copy of your site that you can reinstall if something goes wrong. A backup of WordPress data and files can play a crucial role in an emergency. Schedule your backups so you won’t forget them, and do a test restore from time to time.
  • We suggest running a full backup before making the changes so that you can recover your site if you break anything.

Choose themes and plugins carefully and keep them up to Date.

  • Possibilities for the hackers are pretty limited if you are using good rated theme and plugins and keep them up to date. Every new version is expected to have less vulnerabilities.

Delete any themes, plugins or extensions that you don’t need or that aren’t updated

  • Remove all themes and plugins that you are not using, deactivating is not enough make sure you delete.
  • By clicking the “Details” link next to each plugin to see when it was last updated. We strongly advise that you remove all plugin that has not been updated for 1 years or more.
  • Use FTP Check to see if you have any old WordPress installations lying around. For example in a directory called ‘backup’, ‘doc_root.old’, ‘old_wordpress’ or something similar, Any directories that are old and no longer used should be deleted.

Enable SSL for WordPress

  • An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) authentication is essential to secure the admin panel. SSL ensures secure data transfer between user browsers and the server and makes it difficult for the hacker to breach the connection.
  • SSL authentication can be purchased easily from dedicated companies or you can ask your hosting provider for the same.
  • The SSL authentication also influences your website’s rankings on Google. Google ranks sites with SSL higher than those without it.

Secure and move wp-config.php

  • It is a very important file that contains a crucial data regarding your database, username and password. Only you should have access.
  • Move the wp-config.php file into the folder above your WordPress installation. This will make it difficult for anyone using a browser, meaning a cracker has less chance of locating it.

Disable PHP Error Reporting

  • Hackers can use error messages to their advantage. For example, an error from a theme or plugin might display your server path.

Restrict Access to Your Plugins Directory

  • One of the most crucial things you can do for preventing your site from a hacker is to restrict access to your plugin directory. This way they can’t see which plugins you are using and they can’t explore them for potential vulnerabilities.